29 May 2018 34 comments

Our Kitchen Renovation.

Our kitchen…

Well, hasn’t this post been a long time coming? It always takes me a while to feel like my rooms are ready to be presented to the world as a completed room tour, but I have to say that the kitchen has really taken shape recently and I think I would even go as far as saying it’s finished (bar a few minor details!)

I’ve said before that we bought this flat knowing it was a fixer-upper, and the kitchen was top priority. It was abhorrent. Not just from first glance, but behind the scenes too – a real cowboy builder job. The cupboards weren’t even sealed off at the back! Just exposed brickwork… very raw space.

When I thought about the room that I wanted, I thought of a warm, relaxing space that was styled but not cluttered. I wanted somewhere we could sit for hours in the evenings or over weekend breakfasts and chat or sit at our laptops, or have friends over for dinner in a kitchen that was practical (I love to cook!) and homely.
It ended up more white that I had wanted; originally we had wooden floorboards (but they didn’t weather well so the tiles came later), so I went for the marble-effect laminate and kept everything neutral so there was colour from the wood and mint and brass touches. When we decided to get tiles, I couldn’t find anything that would suit the room as much as these mosaic hexagon tiles, so we decided to go for it.
I think the dark grout gives it a bit of an edge, and we added these H&M green curtains for more colour.

I had planned to buy a nicer table at some point too, but that never happened and we still have a cheapie number from eBay that was meant to be a temporary job! I guess we’re stuck with it…
The chairs are the Wishbone style that I picked up online along the way (probably eBay again) and I think our Smeg fridge is the pièce de résistance. Just the most mesmerising pop of colour!

The shelves are the String Pocket Shelves, they sit above our coffee machine (see a post on that here)and are filled with random cups and saucers, plants and coffee-related items. I love these shelves, I think open shelving is such a fun way to have a very fluid room – you can change it up with very little effort and cost.

The before and after…

We changed absolutely everything when we renovated our kitchen; the layout was altered completely, a gas hob was added, we thought of a solution for the unsightly and impractical boiler cupboard, the floors were sanded and a pantry and storage “loft” were built. We even had a dishwasher plumbed in, and the washing machine moved all the way down to the pantry area!

I also decided to do away with top cabinets as these were something I never felt we needed, which is the same for the extractor fan. I always thought I could add both back in if we missed them, but that day never came, which I’m beyond happy about.
Instead I went for quite a different backsplash; herringbone tiles with white grout and the edges left unfinished. I still love this design, it suits our kitchen so well and looks so fresh and clean.

It goes without saying that I was a kitchen designing novice before I started on this; sadly Jordie and I are pretty much the most incapable DIY-ers to exist, but I pushed through and I was so happy with myself when the big renovation process was finished.
I used the IKEA kitchen design tool to plan out our space, which was surprisingly easy for someone who is generally pretty terrible at these sorts of things! Lots of measuring and altering, but I got there.

We only had a few minor hiccups during the whole process, but luckily IKEA have thought of most issues and we were pretty much covered. For example, we have a slightly curved wall that finishes just before our fridge, we were planning on having a normal sized (60cm) unit in here but the curved wall meant that we couldn’t do this. In the end we found a slim slide-out unit that worked perfectly (and it’s just the right size for holding my condiment collection!).
There’s so many solutions, so keep an open mind and research ideas if you have a bit of a tricky layout or there’s a certain something bothering you.

The other issue I remember running in to was the worktops; I wanted a simple marble-effect laminate and I liked a B&Q option. Unfortunately, the IKEA cabinets seem to be deeper than your average kitchen unit and the worktops we found were too small. In the end we purchased the more expensive breakfast bar sized worktop and had it trimmed to size. A minor inconvenience, but something to watch out for.

A lot of what you see now came afterwards, like the string shelves and the brass rail on the other side (which I made myself using copper pipe and these).
It took us a while to get settled in the space and think about what we wanted on those blank walls, but I think we made the right decisions in the end. Patience truly is a virtue!
It started as a bit of a shell when we first got through the big renovations (evidence here and here!) but we’ve brought it to life through the little details!

My advice…

We lived with our kitchen for about a year and a half before we decided to tackle it, and in this time I made a mental note of everything I wanted to change.
Our previous kitchen had all cupboards, and I hated them – everything was always lost and I could never truly make use of the space, so when I designed the new kitchen I made sure it was drawers all the way. Best decision ever.

The IKEA design tool is so good for this, you can select the units you want to suit your space. I really didn’t know where to put what when it came to our kitchen, so I didn’t even try and overthink it. I’m sure this is something you can change later if needed, but ours actually ended up working out fine. The cutlery drawer is in a good place, we have a hidden drawer for spices, and lots of drawers for plates, pans etc.

Hopefully your refurb project won’t be as crazy as ours, but dedicate some time to planning and research anyway. See your cabinets and hardware in person, and really think about what you want from your new kitchen.
My most useful bit of advice for anyone doing any sort of renovation work is to stick to your guns. If you want something done, do it right the first time. I know what it’s like when builders make you feel like something is a big job, but put your foot down! You’re hopefully going to do this only once, so make it right.

The pantry is probably my favourite addition, we added double doors so we can close it up if needed and we added a storage area at the top that holds suitcases and Jordan’s out of control CD collection.
I went to town on some IKEA jars and my Dymo Label Maker, and I love how organised it is. It’s also a great place for my many, many cocktail glasses!

I feel oddly proud seeing this come together, I didn’t have any kitchen planning experience to my name before this and I really felt lost when we started to design the new space – but I did it!
It’s a really welcoming, bright room and I feel like it’s quite serene too. The white mixed with the cool mint and endless greenery has a very calming effect to it, which is probably why I spend more time in here doing work than I do at my actual desk!

Has this inspired you to give your kitchen a little rejig? What are your renovation concerns?

Shop the Post


  • Wow! your kitchen is actually goals! Love it x

    http://shestandsfirm.wordpress.com/

  • I had no idea that your kitchen had looked like this before! What a transformation! Steph x
    http://www.stephstyle.com

  • Oh wow your kitchen looks amazing!

    Candice | Natalya Amour

  • Kitchen goals! The transformation is absolutely amazing, the colours and décor you’ve chosen has really opened up the kitchen space and it looks so fresh! I would love to do my own house renovation one day! 🙂

    Kayleigh | http://www.anenthusiasmfor.co.uk

  • Rain

    Thanks to you lady, when I was building a new kitchen from scratch, I was SO inspired and applied ideas from your beautiful Pinterest DREAM of a kitchen! I designed shelves and my pantry of dreams and got accessories from Anthro, Bonas and West elm. I LOVE your interiors and I dream of oneday reading your interiors book 😍❤️💋

  • Wow Kate it’s beautiful! Love the marble worktops and the organisation of everything, probably be seeing this on my pinterest inspo board soon! ✨Marbl☾☽Moon

  • Tracey

    Love love love this. Some great tips and lots of fab little details!
    Tracey
    Girlabouthome.com

  • Simply and inviting beautiful decor look for the kitchen! 🌷♥️🌷

    🌸🍃ROSES FOR FRIDAYS 🌸🍃| by mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

  • Juliana Paz

    I love the fresh and airy vibes I get from your kitchen. It has come a long way and turned out great!

    xo
    http://www.ohhjuliana.com

  • Congrats, the transformation looks incredibly fantastic. I’m so much in love with the bright and airy atmosphere your pictures convey. Also, thank you for sharing your tips with us! <3

    E || OH LA LATKES

  • What an amazing transformation! But why am I even surprised? You are after all the Queen of Interior Designing! Absolutely love how you have transformed the space. x | http://www.theflairsophy.com

  • Your kitchen looks amazing! I love how clean and spacious it looks! Plus, the color scheme is just perfect! <3 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing so many decorating/renovating tips with us!

    XO, Elizabeth
    http://clothestoyouuu.com/

  • This looks amazing!! its incredible how much lighter and brighter the room looks, i love the accents of colour too, its so gorgeous! xx

    annesharose.com

  • your kitchen is superb. It is bright and minimalist while being warm. It gives me ideas to develop mine! Very nice job!

  • Your kitchen is superb. It’s bright and minimalist while being warm. It gives me ideas to develop mine! Very nice job!

    Nelly
    https://nelisiane.fr

  • wow it is absolutely beautiful, i can not believe it used to look like that and how amazing it looks now!!! and your fridge is soooo pretty (never thought i would say that about a fridge lol) xx

    cristynottingham.blogspot.com

  • Flo la vita

    I absolutely LOVE your kitchen! The before and after is so shocking, you’ve made it look so beautiful. I’ve got some serious kitchen envy here xx

    http://www.flolavita.co.uk/2018/05/why-blogging-is-not-competition.html

  • Your kitchen is the sweetest, Kate! Looks like such a cosy nook. I don’t know if I’d ever be brave enough to buy a refrigerator in a non-neutral colour but who knows, someday? My husband and I are looking to buy a house and your pics here are definitely going to be saved for inspirations when we get around to decorating. Thank you for sharing the renovation result with your readers <3

    xo, Liyana | Affordorable

  • Your kitchen is so cute!
    Chloe X http://chloelxuise.com

  • What a transformation! Your kitchen is so light, bright and serene! It’s also the perfect canvas for yourselves (or future buyers!) as you can always paint the cupboard doors at a later date. A pastel colour like your fridge would really work really well and contrast nicely against all the white x

    • “would really work really well” — urgh, I can’t type

  • OBSESSED with your kitchen – and pretty much your whole place tbh. The tiling is so unique but so perfect for the space!

  • Wow your kitchen just looks perfect! I love what you did with it. X
    http://www.thoughtsinstyle.com/

  • Your kitchen is honestly the most incredible kitchen I’ve ever seen haha, its just perfect in every way and that transformation is something else!

    Lucy | Forever September

  • Your kitchen is literally everything I want in a kitchen! interior design goals! I particularly love the sink and the marble worktops!
    shannon
    http://www.shaykennedy.me

  • Crystal Parker

    I actually really love the way you’ve setup your cutting/charcuterie boards. I tried doing the same in my apartment (which we rent so we can’t make any major changes). I don’t think I could handle so much white but I absolutely adore it in your space.

  • Lauren

    Hi Kate, I’ve looked at your kitchen on videos and in your photos so many times. I just have a couple quick questions. Are the knobs on your units and your sink from Ikea- they look expensive. Where was the tap from? Enjoy the fruits of your labours, the summer and much continued success! Lauren

  • 让人百看不厌的博客,真的不是很多!

  • I could look at photos of your home all day, it really is just so beautiful and the transformation that you have done in your kitchen is amazing!

    Claire | rose-tinted.com

  • This is honestly my dream kitchen! It’s so beautiful and airy, I can’t get enough! <3

  • Your kitchen is just so HEAVENLY, I love how it feels cosy yet light and spacious! You’ve done an amazing job with the renovation 🙂

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Cruelty-Free/Vegan Beauty • Lifestyle • Photography

  • Natalie Redman

    Oh wow what an incredible transformation!

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Nnedi

    Your kitchen is so pretty!! I love how open and bright it is with the pops of colour. Definitely going to take some inspiration from this x

    Nnedi || iamncxo

  • Marta

    I love, love, love your kitchen! It’s so bright and airy with all the accents, like copper, that I’d choose myself. Quick question: where is the radio from? I’d love to get it for my place, as well. Thanks!